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I have learned some interesting things about the SmartKey:

1. Never give the valet the entire key:

If the valet were to lose the key (or unscruplously duplicate the mechanical key - yes it can be duplicated), there is a hefty expense/hassle involved. A mechanical key loss & replacement involves re-keying the locks on the doors including the trunk door, reporting the loss to the car insurance company, discarding the other mechanical key because it no longer works after the re-key operation, having the original SmartKeys deactivated by the M-B shop, and purchasing three new keys (one entire SmartKey assembly that comprises a SmartKey and a mechanical key to replace the ones the valet lost, and the extra mechanical key to replace the one that had to discarded).

Which key is the valet key - the mechancal key or the SmartKey? The real answer is - neither! What to do? Slide the mechanical key out of the key housing complete with all your other keys still attached to the mechanical key and keep this part yourself (it's real easy to do this by sliding the spring-loaded thumb tab), and just give the valet the rest of the SmartKey housing.

2. Leaving the SmartKey in the ignition for an extended period (for those odd jobs at home) is not a good idea - as long as the key is in the ignition without the engine running, it continualy drains the car battery! Eventually, the key cannot even be turned in the ignition switch if the car battery falls below a certain charge level.

3. If the SmartKey's internal battery goes dead (can't open or close the locks), the key still works in the ignition. Since the key draws its power from the car battery, it retains all its key-dependancy functions.

4. If the car battery and the SmartKey internal batteries are dead, you could still open the door lock with the mechanical key and spend quality time inside your SLK while waiting for Roadside Assistance to arrive!
 

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slik - 3/17/2005 2:27 PM

I have learned some interesting things about the SmartKey:

1. Never give the valet the entire key:

If the valet were to lose the key (or unscruplously duplicate the mechanical key - yes it can be duplicated), there is a hefty expense/hassle involved. A mechanical key loss & replacement involves re-keying the locks on the doors including the trunk door, reporting the loss to the car insurance company, discarding the other mechanical key because it no longer works after the re-key operation, having the original SmartKeys deactivated by the M-B shop, and purchasing three new keys (one entire SmartKey assembly that comprises a SmartKey and a mechanical key to replace the ones the valet lost, and the extra mechanical key to replace the one that had to discarded).

Which key is the valet key - the mechancal key or the SmartKey? The real answer is - neither! What to do? Slide the mechanical key out of the key housing complete with all your other keys still attached to the mechanical key and keep this part yourself (it's real easy to do this by sliding the spring-loaded thumb tab), and just give the valet the rest of the SmartKey housing.

2. Leaving the SmartKey in the ignition for an extended period (for those odd jobs at home) is not a good idea - as long as the key is in the ignition without the engine running, it continualy drains the car battery! Eventually, the key cannot even be turned in the ignition switch if the car battery falls below a certain charge level.

3. If the SmartKey's internal battery goes dead (can't open or close the locks), the key still works in the ignition. Since the key draws its power from the car battery, it retains all its key-dependancy functions.

4. If the car battery and the SmartKey internal batteries are dead, you could still open the door lock with the mechanical key and spend quality time inside your SLK while waiting for Roadside Assistance to arrive!
Wow, thanks for the info. I asked this question before about which key was the valet key and received a mixture of responses.Good info to have!

But that raises another question. Will TeleAid still work if the car battery is dead?
 

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slik, Thanks for the info. No valet will ever get his hands on my car (nor have they with my two previous cars) but the other information that you supplied is quite usefull.
 

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2005 SLK350 2011 GLK3504X 2006 ML350(selling when GLK arrives)
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Good post...very useful information in a clear format...thanks...[8D][:D][8D]
 

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Thanks for the cautions, however, isn't there any way to lock the trunk and console and glove box when giving the car to a valet? I try to avoid them whenever possible, but there are just a couple of places I go that are Valet ONLY. On the SL500, if you lock the glove box with the metal key, the rest of everything locks and the valet key won't open them. The SLK doesn't have a keyhole there! I tried to lock the trunk with that mechanical key, but everything still opens with the remote key that the valet would now have. I can't find ANYTHING in the owners manual about this. Please HELP if you can!
 

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3. If the SmartKey's internal battery goes dead (can't open or close the locks), the key still works in the ignition. Since the key draws its power from the car battery, it retains all its key-dependancy functions.
That's true, but on my E Class at least, unlocking the car with the mechanical key does not deactivate the (standard Mercedes-Benz) alarm. This means that there is little point opening the door anyway if the battery is dead in the remote key.
 

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As I found out yesterday, unlocking then opening the door with the mechanical key will set off the siren alarm, but but by inserting the valet key, the alarm subsides.
 

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2005 C230K Sport Coupe 6-speed! And now a 2011 GLK 350 4Matic in Palladium Silver!
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I'd like to provide a small correction on item #3. Under no circumstances on any SmartKey-operated Benz does the SmartKey draw power from the car battery. It would need some sort of metallic contacts to do so.
 

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I'd like to provide a small correction on item #3. Under no circumstances on any SmartKey-operated Benz does the SmartKey draw power from the car battery. It would need some sort of metallic contacts to do so.
Will the key still start the car though with a dead battery? Thanks.

Interesting information!
 

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If the battery in the key is completely dead, the car will not start. If the key has enough juice to unlock the doors, it should start the car.
 
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